Friday, March 20, 2009

Conundrum Explained

Last night was the Arizona Yacht Club's racing rules seminar, featuring Dick Rose, rules guru, editor and author. My summary is below:

I brought up Tillerman's conundrum (on an upwind laser meeting a downwind, by-the-lee boat on the same tack) after the main talk and I received the answer that the only rule that applies is rule 14, avoiding contact. The boats are overlapped, since neither is clear ahead or clear astern of the other. The next step would be to figure out which boat is leeward, or in the lee of the other. The definition of leeward when sailing by the lee is the side the boom is on. Because the boats are meeting, neither the upwind nor the downwind boat is in the other's lee. This situation makes all but rule 14 non-applicable. If a protest were to come up for contact between boats in this sketch, the odds would be for the committee to toss both boats for failure to obey rule 14.

It was quite an interesting discussion, and I find the result to be something akin to what Tillerman found on his blog. This scenario has been bugging me for a while, so I just had to hear what the authority would say about it.


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